Best Camping & RV Generator Review

With an RV ready and camping generator, you can make your outdoor expeditions worthwhile.

The best camping and RV generator is one that is portable and has enough to connect your appliances. However, since the market is full of RV and camping generators, it can be difficult to pick the best RV and camping generator.

To make it easier for you, we have chosen some of the best camping and RV generators on the basis of quality, features, portability, noise, and, of course, price.

Let’s dig deep:

What Does It Mean to be RV Ready?

There is no definition as such, but in simple words, RV ready generators are units that can be connected to the RV without needing any additional equipment.

They have RV outlets to provide 30 amps of power for the RV. In addition to this, they may also have twist-lock generator adapters. Other than this, RV ready generators are also said to be quiet.

Noise level is of huge importance since they have to be kept closer to the RV or camping side and a noisy generator can make it difficult to concentrate or rest.

Here’s a small breakdown to understand noise levels:

Noise Level

Sound

​30 dB

​Whispering

​40 dB

​Conversation

​50 dB

​Laughter

​70 dB

​Vacuum Cleaner

​90 dB

​City Traffic

Without much ado, let’s have a look at our top five best camping and RV generators:

Best Camping and RV Generators: Comparison Chart

Camping And RV Generator

Weight

Dimensions

Noise

Fuel Type

​33 pounds

​18.5 x 11.22 x 15.75 in

52 dB

​​Gasoline

​96 pounds

​2.4 x 13.2 x 23.5 in

58 dB

​​Gasoline

​81.6 pounds

​20.5 x 17.9 x 17.7 inches

64 dBa (quiet mode)

​​Gasoline

​115 pounds

​24 x 18.1 x 19.9 in

​78 dB

​Dual fuel (gasoline+propane)

​180 pound

​28.8 x 26.8 x 25 inches

-

​gasoline

best-generator-for-rv

iGen 1200 is an ideal choice for people who want a smaller generator. It provides consistent and clean energy and packs quite a punch when it comes to running small outdoor appliances.

Besides powering up an RV, it is also suitable for tailgating, camping.

Features:

  • ​Two 120V 20 Amp outlets
  • ​Parallel connection supported.
  • ​Less than 3% harmonic distortion.
  • ​Fuel efficient mode to save fuel.
  • ​20A circuit breaker to prevent damage from overloading.

This small yet useful generator can offer 1200 starting watts and 1000 running watts. This much power is enough to go camping or connect to a small RV.

Despite having a small 0.8 gallon fuel tank, it offers an extended runtime of  9 hours at 50% load. You can further extend the runtime to 12 hours by reducing the load to 25%.

However, 1200 watts of power might not be enough to run some important appliances in your RV. This can be solved by connecting another similar generator using the parallel connection. It will double the power and make it reach 2400 watts.

Outdoor generators should be lightweight and silent. So that people can transport them easily and enjoy their time without having to worry about the noise.

Fortunately, this generator comes enclosed in an acoustic double insulated body that makes it super silent.

On top of that, it also has silent mufflers to suppress the noise. Thanks to such features, the generator produces only 52 dB of noise at 25% load.

Plus, you do not have to worry about fuel economy either as it consumes 50% less fuel than rival generators. This is possible due to the fuel efficiency mode that auto-adjusts the power as per the requirements. Thus, no fuel is wasted.

Moreover, it is safe to run sensitive appliances without worries as it operates on pure sine wave technology that produces clean energy. You can charge your laptops or mobile devices without worried.

The 4-stroke 54cc engine is powerful and causes no fluctuations.

​PROS

  • ​CARB, USFS, CARB, and EPA compliant.
  • ​3 year warranty and lifetime technical support.
  • ​Two USB ports (5V DC and 120VAC 20A duplex outlet).
  • ​Overload protection.
  • ​Low oil indication.

​CONS

  • ​Parallel cord needs to be bought separately.
  • ​No electric start option.

Conclusion:

Westinghouse iGen1200 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator can be a good choice if you only have small appliances to run.

best-rv-generator

This luggage-styled portable generator is perfect for campings and RVs as it packs enough power.

It offers 3000 of starting watts and 2600 of running watts. This is powerful enough to even run a small AC.

Features:

  • ​Engine speed changes as per the load (Powerstart mode).
  • ​Easier to move with the telescopic handle and wide wheels.
  • ​Automatic idle control.
  • ​Gauge generator load on Statstation LCD.

It comes with four standard outlets and allows to connect four different appliances at the same time. It incorporates a 12v-30 amp locking outlet with RV adapter, USB port, and a DC outlet. Thus, you can easily connect it to an RV.

With a large fuel tank of 1.5-gallon, it provides a runtime of about 10 hours at 25% load on a full tank.

This generator has a unique Quiet Power mode that suppresses noise. Thanks to this feature, the unit produces only 58 dB of noise at 25% load. The noise may, however, get very loud at full capacity.

There’s a simple control panel on the unit to display modes and keep tabs on overload status, power, and generator status. Moreover, it also has a reset button to safeguard the engine in case it gets overload.

This generator is easy to maintain as it shows most of the settings on the control panel. You can figure out how much power and fuel it consumes. Moreover, it also features a low oil shutdown feature to prevent any sort of damage.

While the generator is quite powerful, you can double the power by using the option to connect another generator to it.

​PROS

  • ​Suitable for home use, RV, and camping.
  • ​2-year warranty.
  • ​Offers clean energy which is ideal for delicate electronics.
  • ​6 inch wheels make it easier to move (tailgating and camping become easy).

​CONS

  • ​Not CARB Compliant.
  • ​No electric start option.

Conclusion:

Briggs & Stratton 30545 P3000 PowerSmart Series Portable is perfect for RV use and camping as it will easily power up many appliances. To start heavier appliances, you can use the parallel connection as well.

best-portable-generator-for-rv

Another beauty from Champion as it is one of the best companies out there.

Champion 4000 is a combination of power, convenience, and quiet operation. These three traits make it a suitable outdoor camping and RV generator.

It delivers 4000 starting watts and 3500 running watts with which you can power up heavy duty appliances such as ACs, refrigerators, etc.

Features:

  • ​Parallel connection supported.
  • ​30 amp RV outlet/12V DC outlet.
  • ​CARB compliant.
  • ​Longer runtime of 17 hours.
  • ​Less than 3% harmonic distortion.

This unit has a 2.9 gallon fuel tank which offers a runtime of about 17 hours when the tank is full. In fact, you can further extend the runtime by using it on the “Eco Mode”. In this mode, the unit uses less fuel by adjusting settings as per the load. It’s a great feature that increases run-time and saves fuel.

It is an LED system that tells you about overloads, low oil, volts, and generator status. This is why it is known as a smart generator. Plus, these features also make it easier to maintain the generator.

It has a 120V 30A RV outlet, two 120V 20A household outlet, and a dual USB adapter with a 12V DC outlet. These ports make it RV-ready and perfect for outdoors.

Apart from that, it only produces 64 dB of noise which can be further reduced by placing it at a distance.

If you feel that the unit doesn’t offer adequate power then consider connecting it with another unit using the parallel connection feature. It will boost the power wattage to 7000 watts and make it ready to power up refrigerators, ACs, and other heavier appliances.

It also features a low oil shutdown option to save the unit from getting damaged. Moreover, the connected appliances are also safe as the unit produces clean energy.

​PROS

  • ​3-year warranty and lifetime technical assistance.
  • ​Saves fuel with the economy mode.
  • ​Wheels can be installed to improve portability.
  • ​Very durable and easy to use

​CONS

  • ​Louder when not operational on Eco Mode.

Conclusion:

Champion 4000-Watt RV Ready DH Series Open Frame Inverter with Quiet Technology is a viable option if you wish to power up RV and camping appliances.

best-camping-generator

Pulsar 5250 is not only an RV ready and camping generator but offers plenty of useful features as well. First of all, it is a dual fuel capable unit that accepts both gasoline or propane. This makes your outdoor expeditions much easier as you can take along the most suited fuel on your trip.

Features:

  • ​Switch between fuel types using the Switch And Go technology.
  • ​Low oil shutdown indication and digital meter to show status.
  • ​Propane hose is included (hooks to the RV directly).
  • ​12 hours of runtime at half load.

With a 4-stroke 244cc engine, this unit is capable of delivering 5250 peak watts and 4750 running watts on gasoline. When using propane, it will offer 4250 peak watts and 3850 running watts.

Dual fuel technology is great as it puts you in a good position. You can increase runtime as you have a backup fuel system to fall back on. This makes the generator perfect for longer trips.

Plus, one fuel is more affordable and readily available than others, hence you can easily pick one that you prefer. Moreover, the Switch And Go technology also makes it possible to change fuel type while the unit is still operational. This ensures you do not have to live without power even for a second.

A large 4 gallon tank ensures it runs for up to 12 hours at half load. You can extend the runtime by a few more hours by reducing the load.

There are 4 various outlets on the unit: two AC outlets, one RV port, and one twist lock outlet. 

Maintaining the unit is a breeze because it keeps you notified about performance. There’s a mounted fuel gauge for use. Plus, an hour meter that tell you how much fuel it is consuming and how much longer it will operate. These features help you maintain the generator and ensure it stays durable.

Starting the unit is not a problem because it incorporates a simple electric push button start option.

While it all looks good, there’s a slight problem with this unit though. It produces a sound of 78 dB which is a bit loud and might make your outdoor events a bit irritating.

To overcome this problem, buy an extension cord and place the unit at a good distance so that you do not have to deal with a lot of noise.

​PROS

  • ​The air filter prevents it from overheating.
  • ​Contains a drop handle for easier transportation.
  • ​1 year warranty.
  • ​Packs enough power to kickstart a 240V well pump.

​CONS

  • ​Loud at 78 dB of noise.

Conclusion:

Pulsar 5,250W Dual Fuel Portable Generator with Switch and Go Technology is powerful and offers the feasibility of choosing the best fuel source as well. You can power up multiple appliances with it and make your outdoor stays worthwhile.

camping-generator

This is a long lasting, strong, and lightweight generator that delivers 6875 starting watts and 5500 running watts. It is enough to power a variety of appliances without any worries.

Moreover, you can also charge delicate electronics with this generator as it produces clean energy and control voltage fluctuation. There’s no risk of causing damage to your gadgets.

Features:

  • ​Large 7.2 gallon fuel tank.
  • ​10 hours of runtime at 50% load.
  • ​Electric push button start.
  • ​Circuit breaker.

This reliable generator has a 7.2 gallon fuel tank that offers an excellent runtime of 10 hours at half the load. In case the loads get overwhelming, this unit will trip automatically to save it from malfunctioning thanks to the circuit breaking feature. This is a good feature as it also secures other appliances.

With a 389cc OHV engine, this generator will provide with consistent and clean 5500 of running watts. It will help you connect an RV or run plenty of outdoor appliances as well.

You can track maintenance intervals thanks to the pre-equipped hour meter. Furthermore, it also indicates if the oil is low to ensure you can refill it on time.

The unit has four 5-20R 120V outlets and one L14-30R Twist-Lock 120/240V outlet to connect to an RV. These five outlets will let you operate 5 appliances at the same time.

It is super easy to use and start thanks to the electric start system. Plus, there are large wheels underneath to make transportation easy. Moreover, it has a foldable handle that makes it easy to move and store the unit.

​PROS

  • ​Offers clean electricity.
  • ​Controls overload (circuit breaker technology).
  • ​Durable steel frame.
  • ​1-year labor and 2-year parts warranty (limited).

​CONS

  • ​Doesn’t support parallel connection.
  • ​Not carb compliant

Conclusion:

Generac 5939 GP5500 5500 Running Watts/6875 Starting Watts Gas Powered Portable Generator is quite a powerful generator but can be a bit noisy at times. Pick this one if you’re interested in running big appliances.

Best Camping And RV Generator Buying Guide

Since there are so many generators out there, you need to be smart and look into certain factors to ensure you get the best camping and RV generator.

Let’s have a look at a few things to consider when picking an RV ready generator:

  • ​Fuel Type: Firstly, look into the type of fuel that a generator supports. Here are a few common options:
    • ​Gasoline: It is one of the cheapest options out there. Plus, it’s also readily available. Moreover, it is also easy to add or remove gasoline, hence such generators are typically easier to operate and manage.
    • ​Propane: Propane gas generators are more efficient and produce less emission. Apart from that, propane has a longer shelf life than other fuel sources.
    • Diesel: If you are looking to buy a fuel efficient generator for your RV then look for generators that operate on diesel fuel. However, such generators may not be environmentally friendly.
    • Solar Powered: Save money on fuel and use solar powered generators to produce electricity. They use solar panels and can be RV-ready as well. They may be more expensive than other generator types but can be good in the long-run as they are eco-friendly and do not always require fuel.

It is best to opt for dual fuel generators so you can choose between two common types. The most common fuel types are propane and gasoline. They are affordable and easily available so choose wisely.

  • Clean Energy: You would need to charge a variety of appliances including sensitive appliances like laptops and mobile phones. This is why you’ll need clean energy. Using a powerful generator that has no control over voltage fluctuation can damage these appliances for good.

    Generators with pure sine wave technology can handle fluctuations and keep connected appliances safe.
  • Noise: One of the most crucial factors is the amount of noise a generator produces. Your outdoor trips and journeys can be ruined if you pick a generator that is too loud.
        
    Imagine sitting with your friends and having to bear a loud noise that just wouldn’t stop. A noisy generator can even make it difficult to fall asleep.

    The most suitable generators for camping and RVs are the ones that produce under 60 dB of noise. Anything above that can be a bit irritating if the unit is placed close to you.
  •  Power: This one is a no brainer. You will need to calculate the amount of power you’ll need to operate certain appliances in your RV or camp.

    The right way to do this is to read the labels or just Google the amount of power required to run appliances.

    For small scale RVs and camps, a smaller generator that produces under 2000W can be enough. It will easily start a few smaller appliances.

    However, if you wish to run heavier appliances such as TV sets, ACs, and microwaves then you will need to pick a generator with at least 3000 watts.
  • Portability: When you’re choosing an RV-ready generator, weight plays a vital role. You will be carrying the generator from place to place and a heavier generator can cause problems.

    Pick a generator that falls under 100 pounds so that you can carry it around easily. Tires and handles can also make a difference.
  • Easy Maintenance: RV and camping generators are kept outdoors most of the time and hence require a lot of care.

    Generators with the following features are easier to maintain:
    • Voltmeter: A voltmeter attached to the generator shows the number of volts utilized by the unit. It helps you figure out how many volts each appliance uses so that you can control power and only run appliances that you need.
    • Hour Meter: This gadget notifies of hourly updates and gives you information on run-time, oil, etc.
    • Low Oil Shutdown: Some generators have a built-in feature that ensures the generator stays durable and reliable even when the oil is low.
      It automatically shuts down the generator in case of low oil to prevent failure.

How To Keep A Generator In Good Shape When Travelling And Storing?

Generators meant for RV and camping often lose efficiency if they are not maintained properly. Most RV ready generators are durable and very strong as they are made to deal with the harsh weather conditions and other such issues, yet you need to be careful when it comes to maintenance.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Servicing: Servicing is important to ensure all parts and components continue to work. You can service a generator by yourself if you have the experience, however, it is recommended to hire a professional for the job.

Take it to a repair shop instead and have an expert look at it. They will perform a thorough checkup and correct fuel leaks and minor issues to improve efficiency.

Some generators come with a warranty and free service, so avail such offers if you can.

2. Storing The Generator: When not in use, store the generator in a dry and cool place so that there are no fire or overheating hazards.

Apart from that, make sure that there’s a shade above the unit so that rainwater doesn’t run into the generator. Moreover, keep it safe from moisture as well.

This may not be much of a problem if you have a weatherproof generator but being careful is still important.

3. Use Fresh Fuel: Using old fuel can cause starting problems and higher emission. Use new fuel to keep it in good shape and run for a longer period of time.

4. Lubricate: Keep the generator lubricated to ensure there’s no rust and all parts work well. Also known as generator exercising, it involves lubricating the lines, valves, and components so that they work efficiently.

5. Oil Content: If the generator doesn’t have the low oil shutdown feature then use a dipstick to measure the oil contents and make sure it is filled enough.

6. Clean It Up: Always clean the generator up using a clean cloth, especially after you come back from a trip. Leave no traces of dust, grease, or oil on the unit. Moreover, clean the batteries, too.

You can follow the manual for tips on how to get it done.

How To Properly Connect A Generator To An RV?

You must make a proper connection between the generator and the RV to avoid electrical hazards and voltage fluctuation.s Here’s how to do it:

Location: Most of the RVs come with a generator tray that is above the ground to provide good stability. However, if your RV lacks a tray then make sure to build one.

It is not wise to keep the unit on the ground as doing so may lead to more noise and performance issues. Plus, it can also afford the unit’s life.

Fill The Tank: Some generators can be connected to the RV’s fuel supply using a propane hose. If yours doesn’t then manually fill the tank up.

Battery Connection: Connect the positive and negative terminal of the battery with the corresponding terminals on the generator. Once done, place the unit and tighten it using a clamp.

Fumes: The exhaust system of the generator should be facing outside the RV and not inside. The last thing you want is to find your RV full of smoke.

It’s not just any smoke but carbon monoxide that can be life threatening. This is also why you should not stay close to the generator while it is operational.

The Bottomline:

These are some of the most desirable and premium camping and RV generators on the market. At the end of the day, pick one that suits your needs and has the features that you are looking for.

About the Author Billy

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